In the horse, mobility of the conceptus is required for maternal recognition of pregnancy depending on secretion of prostaglandins by the conceptus. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and localization of key enzymes of the different pathways leading to synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and F2α in the equine conceptus during the mobility phase. Enzyme expression was analyzed via quantitative RT-PCR in total RNA samples of equine conceptuses collected on days 10 (n = 5), 12 (n = 12), 14 (n = 5) and 16 (n = 7) from healthy mares. Relative abundance of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 mRNA was higher (p< 0.05) than of COX-1 irrespective of conceptus age and for phospholipase A2 on day 16 in comparison to all other days (p< 0.01). Abundance of mRNA of cytosolic and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) and of carbonyl reductase (CBR) 1 was not influenced by conceptus age. Immunohistochemically, COX-1, COX-2, as well as cytosolic and microsomal PGES were present in both the ectodermal and endodermal layer of the yolk sac wall. CBR-1 was restricted to periembryonic disc area. The localisation of the key enzymes explains the mechanism of embryo mobility. In vitro incubation of primary trophoblast cell cultures with oxytocin had no effect on key enzyme synthesis.